Some sixty paintings and hundreds of works on paper and text-based works from the period 1960-1972 are featured in this exhibition: the early 'surrealist' paintings, sexually evocative and charged with both comedy and aggressiveness, on to her gigantic so-called tool paintings, some of which are up to six metres long, and The Wave Series. On the border between minimalism and conceptual art, she created a powerful and individualistic body of work in a completely male-dominated environment. Curated by Iris Muller-Westermann
Curated by Iris Müller-Westermann
Assistant curator: Jo Widoff
This is the first retrospective exhibition in the Nordic region of Lee Lozano (1930-1999), an American artist whose original and challenging work is still largely unknown, especially in Europe. Lozano was part of the 1960s art scene in New York, an artists’ artist in the midst of the avant-garde of the time. On the border between minimalism and conceptual art, she created a powerful and individualistic body of work in a completely male-dominated environment.
She rapidly rose to recognition on a male-dominated art scene that was rebelling against abstract expressionism. In 1972, she dropped out of New York art life. Within the twelve years of her career, she formulated an independent and radical artistic oeuvre that was often provocative. Now, for the first time, her work is presented in Sweden.
Lee Lozano’s works bear traces of pop art, minimalism and conceptual art, the dominating trends of the 1960s. However, she expressed herself in an entirely unique style. Originally, she worked with a figurative imagery dealing with aspects of the human body and the relationship between power, sexuality and violence. This figurative subject matter gradually developed into intensely powerful tool paintings. Eventually, her images became even more abstract – although still replete with stark ambiguities. Towards the end of the 1960s, she abandoned painting in favour of conceptual works, her so-called Language Pieces.
Lee Lozano was very active in New York in the 1960s, exhibiting at the Green Gallery, which featured artists such as Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Claes Oldenburg and Tom Wesselman. She also had exhibitions in, for instance, Cologne, and at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. In 1972, she decided to leave the New York art scene, marking her decision with the work Dropout Piece. Thereafter, she was gradually forgotten.
In recent years, Lee Lozano’s oeuvre has been rediscovered. Her uncompromising way of combining art with life and taking the consequences of her actions makes her artistic work exceedingly relevant even today. The underlying aggression, the rawness and immediacy of her works, is often combined with sarcastic humour, challenging the usual gender stereotypes. This exhibition presents the most extensive overview so far of her oeuvre and invites a new reading of 1960s art history.
Some sixty paintings and hundreds of works on paper and text-based works from the period 1960-1972 are featured in this exhibition, which is produced by Moderna Museet: the early “surrealist” paintings, sexually evocative and charged with both comedy and aggressiveness, on to her gigantic so-called tool paintings, some of which are up to six metres long, and The Wave Series. Some of Lozano’s conceptual “language pieces”, representing her development towards immateriality, are also included in this presentation in the main hall of Moderna Museet.
Lee Lozano was an idiosyncratic artist, largely going against the grain of her contemporary scene. In 1971, for instance, she caused controversy with her boycott of women – a project in the form of an “examination”. The Drop Out Piece (1972) was Lozano’s defection from the New York art scene. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in her unique artistic oeuvre, in acknowledgement of its width and depth. After her death, Lee Lozano’s work has been shown in several solo and group exhibitions in the USA and Europe, including at the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York and documenta 12 in Kassel.
Catalogue authors: Jo Applin, Lucy Lippard, Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer, and the exhibition curator, Iris Müller-Westermann.
Press contact Moderna Museet
Kay Kutschkau tel +46 8 5195 5289 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sat, 13 Feb, 2 pm Opening. Catrin Lundquist, curator, presents the exhibition.
In the exhibition hall. Included in the admission fee.
Gasverksgatan 22, Malmo
Tue, Thu-Sun 11-18, Wed 11-21
80 SEK / 60 SEK (reduced price)
Free admission for those 18 and under